Current Board of Directors
Directors are elected yearly by the Active Members at the Annual General Meeting of the Land Trust. New Directors are recruited through a comprehensive process based on the skills required for the Board. All Directors serve on a volunteer basis.
If you are interested in becoming a Director for the Land Trust, please contact us at:
Vernon & District Community Land Trust
c/o Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan
3105 33rd Street
Vernon, BC V1T 9P7
Phone: (250) 540-8572
Jane Lister, Board Chair
Jane Lister is the Regional Dean at Okanagan College’s – Vernon Campus and previously spent twenty-one years in the role of General Manager at Community Futures – North Okanagan. During this time, she has participated on the City of Vernon’s Affordable Housing Committee and has been actively involved in housing initiatives in the North Okanagan and throughout her career, Jane has developed strong partnerships in government, community organizations and businesses. Currently she is involved with the City of Vernon’s Economic Development Committee, the Okanagan Rail Trail Society, North Okanagan Refugee Committee, and is a member of the Vernon Estate Planning Council. Jane has a B.A. and a M.B.A. from the University of British Columbia.
Margaret Penner, Board Vice-Chair
Margaret Penner has worked in the Hospitality Industry in Vernon since moving here with her family in 1982. She worked in management at Silver Star for 20 years and as Director of Sales & Marketing at Predator Ridge. Margaret understands that affordable housing is a key factor in attracting and retaining quality staff.
She is passionate about the “Service Industry”, working as a trainer for several local companies as well as her own small businesses. She was one of the founding Sponsors of the “Go Award” – a program recognizing Above & Beyond Service for front line workers in Vernon. Margaret believes everyone; including low – middle income employees and seniors deserve a safe healthy home, and is part of The Land Trust Board to work toward this commitment.
Ken Stewart, Secretary -Treasurer
Ken spent twenty-one years with Bell Pole Company in various capacities ~ the last 10 years as President. Prior to the Land Trust Ken was involved with the City of Vernon’s Hesperia project – a land-housing project in the Okanagan Landing area. He continues to be active in the community in a variety of ways and enjoys living in Vernon.
Marty has been a Vernon resident since 1995 and a licensed real estate agent since 2003. He has a background in finance and was previously employed as an investment advisor and an auditor. He owns multiple rental/development properties in BC and Saskatchewan giving him a deep knowledge of investment property. He lives on an acreage with his wife and three children (plus dogs and chickens). With deep roots in the community, he recognizes the challenge many Vernon residents have finding suitable rental homes. He was previously on the Board of Directors for Vernon’s Hesperia project in the Okanagan Landing area.
David is the Owner/Operator of The Fig, a Café/Bistro in Vernon, BC. He moved to Vernon with his mother in 2006 and purchased The Fig in the summer of 2017. David has a passion for Real Estate and has taken the time to educate himself in various investment strategies including Lease Options/Rent To Own, Single Family, Multi-Family (6 units+), and Creative Financing for putting deals together. His favorite of these strategies is Multi-Family and apartment buildings. He also brings a new approach to marketing with his presence on social media. As a marketer and business man, he looks to provide as much value as possible in every situation. David represents the millennial generation and brings a younger energy to the Land Trust. He loves Vernon and wants to see it grow and expand. One of the best ways to do that, is to look after the people who already live here. He joined the Land Trust to be part of a positive change in the community he loves.
Gary spent over 30 years with Urban Systems Ltd., an inter-disciplinary professional practice providing planning, engineering, environmental science, and urban design services to both public and private sector clients throughout Western Canada. During his time with the firm he was involved in a variety of roles but largely focused on community and development planning throughout British Columbia and Southern Alberta.Throughout his career, Gary was involved in assisting communities in identifying the location of future housing and the means whereby vacant land could be transformed into well planned, integrated communities. In his role as a community planner, Gary increasingly came to appreciate the need for affordable housing. Upon his retirement, he joined the Land Trust Board in an effort to apply his previous experience to working with fellow Directors, government and community partners in helping provide housing to low and moderate income individuals in the Vernon region.
Kari Gares is a Platinum Award-Winning, Independent Mortgage Broker, Entrepreneur and Co-Owner of MHC Mortgage House located in Vernon, BC. With more than 21 years of experience and training in the Financial Services Industry, Kari has built a strong reputation as an outstanding Mortgage Specialist, serving the lending needs of real estate professionals, builders and home-buyers throughout the province and around the world. Kari’s breadth of knowledge of the real estate industry, finance industry and mortgage lending policies has enabled her to customize a mortgage product that perfectly meets her clients’ needs and goals. She is an active sponsor of community events in both sports and arts-driven ventures, and has volunteers for many non-profit organizations such as the United Way, Elizabeth Fry Society (Regional and National Boards), North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association, and the Vernon & District Community Land Trust. Kari’s dedicated and consistent ambition to creating solid investment strategies for her clients and the community has allowed her to be successful and to offer guidance to those seeking home ownership. Her passion for her community along with her expertise in the field is deeply rooted in her commitment to assist with affordable housing initiatives.
Paul is a Financial Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities. As a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Paul uses his diverse financial background to ensure his clients financial needs as well as life goals are well planned for. He works to take the stress of financial planning off of his clients. Due to him holding both an IIROC license as well as being licensed to sell insurance, Paul is able to handle all of his clients needs. Paul chose to work with the Vernon Land Trust due to its commitment to helping the community and working to make sure that more people can enjoy all that Vernon has to offer. Paul was an easy transplant to Vernon as his wife grew up in Coldstream. Along with his two daughters and a small maltalier dog Mia, Paul has come to love Vernon and hopes to make sure that others have the same opportunity.